A couple of weeks ago, Athena and I were looking at educational software at the local office superstore, and trying to decide on which one to buy. I was favoring the Jumpstart advanced kindergarten software, whereas Athena wanted some software featuring Clifford, the polyploidial red canine.
“But you like Reader Rabbit,” I said, recalling the fact that until my death, certain Reader Rabbit “songs” will rattle about my head like unwanted spiky marbles. “And look, this Phonics stuff will teach you how to read.”
Athena was unconvinced. “But I want Clifford,” she said. Eventually I gave in because a) she’s already got tons of educational software with material, Phonics and otherwise, which is aimed at boosting her reading skills, b) buying your child educational software she doesn’t want seems like a great way to make sure it never gets used, and c) it was five dollars cheaper anyway. We take the Clifford software home and Athena’s been playing it merrily ever since.
Fast forward to last night, when Krissy calls me into Athena’s room and points at the book they have open, Are You My Mother?, P.D. Eastman’s classic tale of avian child abandonment. “She’s reading,” Krissy said, with all the due excitement a parent is supposed to have at a moment like that. “She just read this by herself.”
I agreed it was a wonderful thing, and bent down to give my daughter a kiss and to let her know how proud of her I was. And my darling child, beaming with pleasure at her parents’ happiness at her newly-acquired skill, looked up at me, dimpled adorably, and said:
“See, Daddy? I told you I didn’t need that software.”
I’m happy that my child is actually reading. But I’m throughly amused that she also has perfect “Ha ha ha so there” timing. The first of these is truly useful. But the second shows that she’s my kid. I’m pleased as punch.